Monday, January 31, 2011

New Year's Reading Resolutions

Many people make New Year's resolutions, and I am making my reading resolutions as I am heading back to the classroom tomorrow.  I've been out of school for six weeks since I had my daughter in December.  I will be meeting my new second semester students and starting a fresh instructional period at school.

I have a huge classroom library and really love to help students find great books.  I started understanding the importance of keeping up with the new young adult literature about four years ago, and keeping up with books has been my favorite hobby since that time.  I just truly love reading and being taken away by a great book.  Some of my proudest, most fond teaching memories are of students finally finding a good book and learning to love reading more because of the great choices they found in my classroom.

With that said, I always want to be a good model reader for my students, so of course, I want to share my 2011 reading goals.  I think that good readers and passionate readers always sort of know what they want to read next.  They look ahead and eagerly anticipate the next great read.  In "real life" people might not write about their reading choices and habits as much as an English or language arts teacher, but those readers probably do this thinking in their heads instead.

Here are my goals for 2011:
  1. Read 40 books - This number is less than what I read last year, but it's appropriate for my life right now.  Up until this year it's just been my husband and me here at my house, but now we have a little girl to take care of.  It's very realistic to say that I probably won't read as many books as I usually do.  I think 40 is an ambitious number and right on--not too many and not too few.  
  2. Read some/something each day for my own enjoyment - I will be reading class texts (Beowulf, Romeo and Juliet, etc.) all the time anyway, so I am not counting those.  Even if it's just a page, a poem, or a chapter, I want to make sure that each day no matter how busy, I take a moment for myself to read something for fun.
  3. Read more picture books - Since my little girl is going to be growing up fast, I want to also start keeping up with great picture books!  I have lots of fun board books already, and I can't wait to begin reading nightly to my little girl.  She's too young to really "get it" right now, but my husband and I still read to her anyway and let her see the pictures in her board books.  
  4. Continue blogging - I want to keep up with my blog this year.  I've done really well with this but do want to keep it a priority.
I have other goals for classroom reading, but these are my main ones for now that apply to my reading overall.  I hope my students will be excited to set their own goals this year.

Here are some of the new books I've purchased and can't wait to read.  Some are new and some are from years past. I really have, like, 200 or more books on my mental "to read" list, but these are on my shelf.  I can't wait to get to them!  I also just can't wait to see what amazing stories 2011 brings us!!

Click each book cover to read more about the book from Indie Bound.   Happy reading!!

and the rest of this series

Friday, January 21, 2011

Let It Snow (and my first post of 2011 and since having a baby!!!)

So, like the title of this post says - I finally finished a book!  I'm impressed that I got it done.  I had my little girl at the end of December, and needless to say, it's been a little different and busy at my house!  I won't be reading quite at the pace I was, I'm sure, but I will still be reading every chance I  get!

So I started Let It Snow (by YA powerhouses John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle) before Christmas, and then life changed!  I picked up the book after all the baby stuff, and have slowly but surely made it through.

The first thing I want to say about this book is that is awesome!  These three separate-yet-connected romances were a hoot - for  guys and girls.  Each one was fun and full of snow.  What made this book even cooler for me (and will make it cool for my students) is that it is set where I live!  The setting of the book, Gracetown, is near Asheville, NC.  Even better was that while I read - the ground here was pretty much covered in snow as we've had two big snow storms so far this winter!

Jubilee Express is about a girl whose parents get arrested on Christmas Eve for getting in a "riot" as they tried to buy the newest piece of there Christmas Village at the store.  Sent to her grandparents' on a train, Jubliee isn't too happy, but it gets worse when the train she's on gets stuck and isn't going anywhere!  This snag in the trip leads her to Waffle House which is ok until a bunch of also stranded cheerleaders show up, which then leads Jubilee away with a kid named Stuart (because who could stay in a Waffle House with a bunch of hyper-active, loud cheerleaders on Christmas Eve...).

The second story (which was my favorite....I'm a bit of a John Green fan!....ok a HUGE fan!) is more for the guys.  It follows Tobin, JP, and the Duke (a girl named Angie) on their epic journey to actually get to the Waffle House full of cheerleaders.  Really funny.

The last story was great as well and really brought all three stories  together.

This was just an all around fun read for the holidays.  I had been meaning to read this since it came out but never got around to it.  I highly recommend this read while it's still cold outside.